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Pete Rose: An American Dilemma Hardcover – March 11, 2014
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"Will absorb you immediately...a fascinating study of one of America's most enduringly fascinating athletes. Masterful." --Mike Vaccaro, New York Post
"An exceptionally well-written book that lays out both sides of what remains a highly-charged issue." --Paul Hagen, MLB.com
"Kennedy takes that familiar story and delves deeper, presenting an artful portrait....With writing of such quality and a subject of such complexity, it deserves to be read by anyone who appreciates good biography." --John C. Williams, BookPage
"Kennedy's book on the tarnished and enigmatic Rose is exceptional. Like the best writing about sport--Liebling, Angell--it qualifies as stirring literature. I'd read Kennedy no matter what he writes about." --Richard Ford
"Kostya Kennedy has given us the real Pete Rose at last. Perhaps Pete does not deserve him, but baseball fans and readers who appreciate superb and subtle writing will be grateful." --David Maraniss
"This is a wonderful, clearly written book about a dark and complicated tragedy that continues to beset the purity of our national pastime. The whole story is here: the deeply talented, passionate ball player, 'Charlie Hustle,' and the deeply morally challenged hustler who bestrides essential questions about our national game." --Ken Burns
"Pete Rose is too rich a character to fit on a bronze plaque. He requires a good, trenchant, poignant (ah, Petey) book, and this is it." --Roy Blount Jr.
"Better than any previous account. Kennedy leaves no doubt about Rose's greatness as a player or his guilt as a gambler." --Allen Barra, The Boston Globe
"A remarkable book about a fascinating, vexing figure." --Kirkus (starred review)
"Kennedy's ambitious account is an anecdote-rich read." --Publishers Weekly
More About the Author
Kennedy grew up on Long Island. Before Columbia, he graduated with honors as a philosophy major from Stony Brook University where he played exactly one game in the school's rogue bloodsport, pit hockey. Kennedy also used to play bass guitar in the specialty rock cover band Rychyrd Prychyrd (the specialty: The band played songs by Kiss and Lynyrd Skynyrd). He now lives with his wife and children in New York.
Top Customer Reviews
Kostya Kennedy tries to bring all of this into perspective in this new biography of one of baseball’s giants. We find out little new here, but it is well presented and convincingly argued. Yes, Rose had a lot of shady friends. Yes, he was an inveterate gambler, womanizer, all around jerk. Yes, he was a driven, single-minded performer on the sports stage. Yes, he broke rules, laws, and other conventions of society.
He also has the all-time Major League record for career base hits (4,256), games played (3,562), and at-bats (14,053). He has three World Champion rings, 1975 and 1976 with the Cincinnati Reds and 1980 with the Philadelphia Phillies. He was the National League Most Valuable Player in 1973, took three batting titles (1968, 1969, and 1973), and was a 17-time all star.
In every way imaginable, Pete Rose is one of the greatest players ever, emphasis on “ever,” in Major League Baseball. Yet he is not in the Hall of Fame and has been banned from the game life. His experience is tragic, polarizing, and evergreen. The author expends considerable effort to come to grips with the question of whether or not Rose should be banned from baseball and prohibited from induction in the Hall of Fame. I admit that I’m all for it.Read more ›
It's been more than 25 years since Rose has been banned from baseball for betting on baseball. And, in 1991 a 10-person special Hall of Fame committee was established with the idea of keeping Rose out of the Hall of Fame. The committee, termed "a sham" by sportswriter Jack Lang, passed a resolution that "Persons on the ineligible list can't be eligible candidates for the Hall of Fame." The resolution was later passed into the Hall of Fame's by-laws. Rose, however, was the only player the by-law applied to.
There's no question about Rose's on-the-field baseball credentials: the all-time hits leader with 4,256, an All-Star at five positions, the epitome of hustle and how to play the game the right way and The Sporting News' Player of the Decade for the 1970s.
San Francisco sportswriter Wells Twombley wrote, "A player like Pete Rose only comes along once in a lifetime."
Rose's off-the-field activities of gambling and womanizing (neither one of which he tried to hide) didn't endear him to some teammates or baseball officials. Rose had only two commandments in baseball and life: be on time and play hard.
The sudden death of Pete's father, Harry, in 1970 of a heart attack had a profound effect on him. Kennedy writes, "Pete would never again feel the accountability the way he felt to his dad. With his dad gone, Pete didn't care who he might disappoint."
Pete's sister added, "If Dad were still alive, Pete wouldn't have drifted and fallen like he has.Read more ›
Pete Rose is portrayed in this book as an overachiever who played hard and always supported the underdog as long as he was not on the other team. His baseball records speak for themselves.
As a young Mets fan Pete Rose's style of play was brought to life for me in game 3 of the 1973 National League Playoffs. As detailed in this book Rose came in hard at second base and slid into Mets shortstop Buddy Harrelson. As he popped up he elbowed Harrelson in the cheek and a brief fight ensued with Harrelson getting the worst of it. Other players joined in. After the fight broke up the Mets manager and four players had beg the upset fans to stop throwing from throwing things at rose in left field or th game would be forfeit despite the Mets leading 9-2 at the time.
Prior to that Rose also was known for a collision at home plate in the 1970 All-Star game injuring himself as well as catcher Ray Fosse who separated his shoulder and never was the same player.
In both instances Rose is viewed as someone who played hard and was not afraid to slide hard or barrel into a catcher which was viewed as standard play back then. He also would not hesitate to do or say something that would rally his team or distract the other team.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm not really a baseball fan so I don't know why I got the book. It amazes me that Pete Rose took so long to fess up to betting on baseball. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Burglund Book Lover
If you're a baseball fan you already know about Rose. This is a good read even if you don't like Rose. His approach to the game is really one of a kind. Read morePublished 3 months ago by RWH
I felt so sorry for Pete after reading this book. It looks like he not going to be inducted to the Hall of Fame! Maybe to the Hall of Shame!!Published 4 months ago by M. Harmon
Fairly interesting book about Pete..reinforced what most people already know...great ball player but dumber than a box of rocks. Should Pete be reinstated?.... Read morePublished 5 months ago by L. Hampton
Slanted in Pete Rose's favor. It didn't give honest portrayal as it was supposed to based on reviews in Sports Illustrated.Published 6 months ago by pattyfaye
This is a totally absorbing book and I found it great reading even though I have not followed major league baseball closely since about 1950--exceot when the Cubs have been in... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Schmerguls
Not a bad read, but glosses over a lot of Rose's managing career with the Reds & the build up to his banishment from baseball. Read morePublished 6 months ago by John Nichols